If you're involved in a crash that wasn't your fault, you have the option of repairing your vehicle with original equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts. However, even if your car is fixed using OEM parts at an authorized dealership, it won't be worth the same as it was immediately before the crash.
The damage to your vehicle might be undetectable and it may run perfectly, but its resale value will always be lower simply because it was involved in an accident. The only way to make up this difference is by filing a diminished value claim against the driver who struck you.
Our attorneys only represent clients with diminished value claims when handling a car accident case that caused personal injuries.
Types of Diminished Value Claims in Florida
Florida's negligence laws require an at-fault party to pay for any damages needed to make the victim whole again. Even if your car is back to normal due to repairs, you'll still suffer a loss when you sell or trade your vehicle in the future. In an effort to make victims truly whole again, Florida allows victims to recover the difference between a car's pre-crash value and its value after repairs, known as diminished value.
Compensation for the diminished value of a vehicle may include:
- Immediate diminished value. This is the difference between the vehicle’s pre-accident value and its post-accident value after the insurance company files the claim. It may also include losses from the insurer’s involvement in the claim, such as if your insurer will only pay for repairs at certain auto shops.
- Repair-related diminished value. Repair-related diminished value includes losses that result from the quality of repairs. Noticeable differences in paint colors, installation of generic parts, or improper installation of panels or bodywork that creates a rattling noise or impacts aerodynamics may all qualify as repair losses.
- Inherent diminished value. The most widely-recognized form of diminished value is the amount lost merely because the car was involved in an accident. When you attempt to sell the vehicle or trade it in for a new car, potential buyers will have access to the vehicle's crash history, significantly diminishing the amount you may be offered. Inherent diminished value pays for owning a “crashed” vehicle, even if the vehicle was repaired to its original condition.
Attorney Paul Cavonis works one-on-one with every injury client, giving you the clarity and attention you need after a crash. Your case will never be passed off to paralegals or other team members, and we always return calls promptly to answer your questions. If you were injured in a crash, simply fill out the brief contact form on this page to set up a consultation with our car accident law firm.